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Politically Incorrect History News/Business. (2011)

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Us 21, America 8, United States 4, Goldwater 3, Soviet Union 3, Osha 3, Usa 3, Hong Kong 3, France 3, Europe 3, India 3, East Germany 3, Fbi 3, Stossel 2, Massmutual 2, Spiriva 2, Nick 2, Wendy 2, James Buchanan 2, Thomas Jefferson 2,
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  FOX Business    Stossel    Politically Incorrect  
   History  News/Business.  (2011)  

    September 3, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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>> they went to the representative here in new york city and got the bill passed. this sets wages, called the prevailing wage. if you're a black perp, unions are discriminatory, racist, don't let you win or treat you badly. what you do to compete -- stossel: set your own business. >> the davis bacon agent in effect, and it's illegal to compete. stossel: the safer workplace question. >> that sounds superficially
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plausible; right? there are wicked capitalists who could care less about the work. the long and short of it is it 3 we were to introduce safety standards in bangladesh right now, does that turn them into a utopia -- no one is working doing nothing. that shows there is a limit to workplace safety. as the society becomes wealthier, invest in capital equipment, the workers are productive, and wages increase, they can begin to opt for taking some of that increased wage in the form of safer workplaces. as we have seen, government tries to take credit for all the advances when the wealth that the market creates is what makes it possible. without that, we would all be in bangladesh. stossel: a good example is the head of osha under president clinton had a chart showing how
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workplace injuries drop since osha began, but somebody charted it before osha and found it was dropping at the same rate, slope of the line was the same. things get better because of free markets. >> right. they create wealth and make it possible for us to opt for safer workplace environments. in fact, most workplace injuries are caused by people getting in traffic fatalities on the highways or another worker punches you in the face. it's not what most people think is that, you know, you're sitting there, and, you know, your leg is caught in the grinder, and we're eating sausage made from a guy's leg. that's not what they are caused by. stossel: relieved to hear that because i eat sausage. fdr's new deal solved the great depression. most people think that. we had a depression, spent money, all the programs lifted us up. >> well, i don't blame them for thinking them. it's the propaganda shoved down their throats 24 hours a day.
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the answer is to look to the people. look at henry morgan, his treasury secretary, said in 1939 after he saw the unemployment statistics showing unemployment at 20% said, well, we've done everything that the experts told us to do. stossel: we are spending more than we have ever spent before, and it does not work. >> and so it turns out that we still get double digit unemployment in the 30s. we have numerous years where net capital investment is negative. we've got what's called regime uncertainty because businessmen wonder with an administration like this, i.coop want to risk any capital right now. i'm going to hold back from investing. we've got this -- stossel: roosevelt or obama now? >> that's the parallel here. roosevelt gets the credit for solving the great depression? it's astoppishing. the record with his people points out it's a failure.
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what more does it require for us to concede this? stossel: the comment that hoover did nothing and roosevelt saved us. hoover increased spending. >> hoover is the opposite of laissez faire. he doubled spending, there's a public works spending spree. the hoover dam, which was completed under fdr, started urn hoover. hoover creates the reconstruction finance corporations giving bailouts to banks and government projects. >> we have a graph of spending under hoover and after hoover. it was flat before. hoover comes to power, the yellow, increases spending 50%. this idea is absurd. you mentioned the hoover dam. that's a good example. it was a big stimulus project, and, of course, it was done under him. it's the hoover dam, and even today it still celebrated by advocates of big spending as an example of the wonderful things
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government should do. >> project of national significance. we got those projects on menu right now, and we have to figure out whether or not we are still a country that can think this big. stossel: i think they are winning in the market place of ideas. the advocates of big spending. most people think economies won't take care of themselves, government has to control it. >> yet, here we have the greatest examples of the opposite with the great depression and the current situation. for somebody it think this was caused by the free market when you have fannie and freddie, all the regulations, the federal reserve pumping the system with cheap credit making it seem like the best thing to do is buy five investment properties, interest only, and have no job, that's not the free market at work, but crony capitalism at its worst. stossel: thank you, tom woods. election season's underway, and so now we're going to get those ugly, nasty campaign ads. worse than ever, i'm told.
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but that's a myth, too. want to see a really nasty campaign mud slinging? that's next. >> if jefferson wins, murder, robbery, rain, and adultery will be openly taught and practiced.
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it's going to be. >> this presidential campaign will be the most media intensive, vicious, propaganda filled hate fest that we've ever seen. >> i think it's absolutely true, and i think it's going to be a real mud slinging debate. stossel: "mud slinging," that phrase comes from throw plenty of dirt, and some will stick. it probably will. i have to be honest i just started paying attention to politics 20 years ago, but in every election of those 20 years, i've heard politicians and pundits complain how mean this campaign is, and politics is now dirtier and meaner than ever. >> this could be the most negative election season of all time. >> this campaign season seems like they took dirty to a new level. >> when pundits shout and politicians call each other's names, it can seem like a return to civility is not possible.
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stossel: "a return to civility," apparently that's what's used to guide campaigns. that's nonsense. if you read history, politicians always said horrible things to each other. adams and overson didn't this televisions, but what if they did? ♪ >> john adams is a blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who wants to start a war with france. while he's not busy importing mistresses from europe, he's trying to marry one of his son's to a daughter of king george. vice president we had enough monarchy in america? >> if thomas jefferson wins, murder, adultery, rain, and incest will be openly taught and practiced. are you prepared to see your dwellings in flames? female chasety violated? children rising on a pike? stossel: they used actual
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statements made by them. editor in chief is nick, and you made that because you were sick of hearing how much worse everything is now? >> yeah. every political election seems to be worse than the previous one. that's what we hear, but, in fact, when you crack a history book, you find out it's pretty much status quo. stossel: the example of jefferson and adams, and seven elections later? >> yeah, things called coffin handbills accused jackson of massacring indians, illegally executing soldiers for desert and other war crimes. a minister to russia, accused of pimping out the maid to the czar of russia. good times. stossel: skip ahead 15 more elections. grover cleveland runs for president. >> yeah, you know, of course, he didn't run for anything, but shambled slowly if you saw his size. he had an out of wedlock child,
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and that was an issue. there was a famous cartoon that started saying, hey, ma, where's pa? after he won the election, his proponent went to the white house and said, ha-ha-ha. >> he was a bachelor at the time and mentioned he might have fathered a child out of wedlock and paid for the child? >> that's right. stossel: the public accepted that. 80 years later, johnson running against goldwater. >> yeah, this is the classic of modern negative campaign ads, the daisy ad, a girl picking flowers and counting. stossel: here we have it. starts innocently enough. >> yeah, at and that is a count down for a nuclear bomb dropped, and the implication was that goldwater was a mad bomber. a magazine called "fact" had over a thousand psychiatrists sign a note saying he was insane. >> this ad ran just once, and, yet, it was talked about so
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much, it had impact. >> yeah. >> these are the stakes. to make a world in which all of god's children can live are to go into the garden. we must either love each other or we must die. >> there was a ton of stuff with goldwater that he was a fascist, a member of the john bird society, which was he was not, that he was a skit phrenic like hitler and stalin from those who studied him from a distance. he won a suit against them. stossel: we have a cover of the magazine that made a claim about the psychiatrists, and he sued, and i, i guess they made it up? >> yeah, and, you know, but that also has not gone away, but the fact is is that contemporary negative ads have positive at tributes to them.
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stossel: like? >> one political science professor studied political ads from 1960-2004 finding that a negative ad, three quarters of them attack statements of fact and policy that candidates had so it actually -- the negative ads are where you see the engagement with the issues and the ideas of competing political ideologies. stossel: instead of fluffy, isn't he a wonderful family man ads, you get facts, and they reply with facts? >> that's right. everybody really benefits from that. they say it's uncomfortable, but negative campaigns correlate with higher voter turn out. stossel: they say it turns people off to politics. >> there's no evidence for that. stossel: it interests more people if they turn out. >> that's exactly what happened in 2004 when john kerry and george w. bush in the re-election bid, a nasty and dirty campaign, swift votes, and questions of shirking duties on bush's part in the international
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guard. it actually increased voter turnout substantially from 2000 which, itself, was a hotly contested election, and you have to say the negativity -- to call it "negativity" is wrong. it's about information and people arguing over something that is very important. stossel: thank you, nick, the reason foundation. it makes me woppedzer what would it be like if my critics made attack ads about this program and me? >> don't watch stossel, he's nothing but a hack, a corporate show. he wants to do a grammy over a twist. >> this ad has been approved byb the mainstream media. and what t. copd iludes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiva helps corol my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled
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stossel: what is it that lib -- liberates oppressed people? i was taught it's american power. in world war ii, our military defeated the nazis, liberated europe, rescued people from concentrated camp, and now i'm told the threat of the military build up defeated the soviet union, and our troops in the middle east will now help create freedom. no, says historian russell, i have it wrong. how do i have it wrong? >> well, as a matter of fact, in
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general, american military intervention has increased anti-americanism and hardened repressive regimes. on the other hand, american popular culture, what's called the worst of the culture, in many cases, has actually done more for liberation and for our national security than anything the 82nd airborne could do. stossel: talk about the soviet union. our reagan military buildup spent so much competing, couldn't do it, and collapsed. stossel: evidence? >> american soldiers brought jazz during world war ii to the eastern fronts, soviet soldiers brought it back, and soldiers
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spread it across the countries, and on the streets, all over the soviet union, big cities, african-american -- and in eastern europes, you saw kids in the streets in the soviet union, other names in east germany, they were kids wearing jeans, listened to jazz, rock n roll and smoke cigarettes. stossel: called it inception from the west. >> the best evidence that american culture subverts american regimes. stossel: they kept arresting. >> rounded them up in the streets, sent them to prison, made jazz illegal, playing the drums illegal. stossel: because it was too sensual? >> because any regime depends on social order to maintain its power. social order and sensety, the pleasures of the body are at
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odds, and stalin understood that. stossel: black music, they include excessive movements of the hips, arms, and legs. >> what they said in the united states 20 years earlier. jazz, people don't know this, first inception in the 1920s was attacked roundly as primitive jungle music bringing down american youth. stalin and eastern europe said exactly the same things with the same words later on. stossel: rock n roll then came. >> more popular than jazz. millions of fans across eastern europe. by 1980s disco and rock in the 1980s were enormously popular throughout the communism world. stossel: relaxed the rules because they were losing. >> it was too late. then if he continues to repress this energy, this desire for freedom and pleasure, he'd lose. he let it go. western acts came in, and it
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took off from there. stossel: left the acts in, surprising. bruce springsteen drew a huge crowd in east germany. we have a clip of him singing "born in the usa." ♪ born in the usa stossel: in east germany, this is remarkable because so many people were there singing along to "born in the usa," and they were not allowed in the usa. >> that's right. great evidence this is enormous popularity signaling the end of the communism regime. stossel: i see how music had a big effect, but i think a much bigger effect would be raw consumerism, having choice. they wanted the stuff that we had, the phones, bikes, cars. >> i actually was in the soviet union in 1986, and when i walked into red square in moscow, i was swarmed by kids and youth and young adults wanting to buy my jeans. this happened to any american who showed up there. they were desperate.
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stossel: i sold my nikes in red square. that brought the wall down, not our guns? >> look at the revolutions in 1989 and culminated in 1991, people, over decades, walk away from the ideology, and that -- you see it in internal documents found in the regimes saying this to themselves. if we continue to allow western influence, popular culture in, our people will want to leave. stossel: that reminds me of a wednesday -- wendy's commercial that ran in the 1980s. let's take a look. ♪ >> [inaudible] ♪
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>> having no choice is no fun. that's why at wendy's every hamburger is not dressed the same. you get your choice of fresh toppings. stossel: people want choices. >> they want choices. they want freedom. they want the freedom to indulge in pleasure and their desires. stossel: thank you. you should know his book "a renegade history" is filled with history's untold stories, many like those. next, the famous pornographer who gave the world the sleaze of hustler magazine is here to say america was shaped by our presidents' sex lives. that's next. ♪
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questions. when you're caring for a loved one with alzheimer's, not a day goes by that you don't have them. questions about treatment where to go for extra help, how to live better with the disease. so many questions, where do you start? alzheimers.gov. the answers start here. stossel: when i think of sex magazines, i think "playboy," "pent house," and "hustler". playboy was first, and then pent
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house for those who thought playboy was too tame. hues leer for for people who thought penthouse was too tame. he is more than a pornographer, but a passionate defender of free speech. he's in a wheelchair today because he was shot by someone angry about an interracial picture he published. we're not here to talk about free speech. we'll do that another time. tonight, we are talking about history, and in this case, sex in history. larry, and columbia professor, david eisenbok wrote this book, "one nation under sex: how the private lives of presidents and first ladies changed history." did it make a difference? >> it did. they use the campaign against
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one another and tarnish one another's image. nothing's really changed. stossel: and it suspect reported about much because in those somedays, people like to hush that up. >> i'm astonished it's been 200 years to find out that thomas jefferson fathered six children by his slave girl. we were not able to establish that until dna in 1998, so there's a lot of history out there which is starting to look the other way, and it just didn't get reported. stossel: you two are not looking the other way. what are some examples? you say sex shaped history. that's a big claim. >> that's right. it's a claim that has been ignored by historians traditionally because they wanted to never touch the personal lives of the presidents'. the problem is that historians missed a major component of the story of america, and that is
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that the private lives of the presidents and first ladies did shape how things went. examples, the civil war. stossel: james buchanan's gay love affair caused the civil war? >> it was part of the story. you have james arriving in washington, a young congressman from laincaster, pennsylvania, a heavily abolishing of slavery, comes under the wing of senator william rufus, king, a slave owner from alabama. the two of them fall in love and have a 32-yearlong love affair. stossel: how do you know? >> it's known in dc. it was talked about. they were known as the twins because they were together. stossel: could have been friends. >> not according to the letters. stossel: you have what they were saying to each other? >> to each other. they are having lover's tifts
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and are they jealous of each other. it's there. historians chose to ignore it. they have a romantic notion of the goodness of the slave owners, the importance of the institution of slavery and the fabric of america. stossel: that the slaves are happy? >> happy. james buchanan takes the notions into his political life and into the presidency, and when the southern states start to secede and he refuses to use powers as commander in chief to crack down, had he done that, he might not have left half a country when lincoln comes in 1861 #, and we could have avoided the civil war that cost 600,000 american lives. stossel: before that, you say ben franklin's promiscuity and success with women saved the revolution? >> ben franklin was a well-known ladies man in the colonial era, and what the congress is looking for someone to send to france to get the french government support of the american
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revolution, they choose a man who had the capacities to win over the ladies, and was not squeamish about the french sexual moreses. larry can add to this. >> he wrote a thesis on the attributes of making love to older women and things like that. stossel: he wrote a paper -- >> a dissertation why it's good to have an older lover. it was well-known. the congress said, all right, this is the guy to go to france, which was infamous in american eyes for sexual promiscuity, and he uses capacity, this 70-year-old lady's man to ingratiate himself with the french hierarchy, meets the right ladies who he tries to bed and is successful with others. they introduce him to the right ministers and the french government, and the result, the french joined us. who were reluctant to join in a
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revolution against the fellow monarchy, mind you, were won over by franklin, support the american revolution, our revolution succeeds, they bankrupt their own government. stossel: didn't work for them. >> kicked off their own french revolution. franklin seduces his way into two revolutions. stossel: roosevelt became a feminist because of her lesbian lover? >> that's right. in 1918, she goes off then on her own personal odyssey in which she meets up with lesbians and carries on affairs, and they are the ones that introduce eleanor roosevelt to the struggle for women's rights. before that, she's against suffrage, the equal rightings amendments, but they are the ones who convince her, no, no, women's rights are the way to go. stossel: how do we know this now? >> it's out there. people in the white house writing about this, diaries and
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books and autobiographies that have come up sense. it's been unacknowledged because it was considered, oh, it's the personal lives of the roosevelts. stossel: moving ahead in time, the head of the fbi secretly taped martin luther king. he did this because john f. kennedy saw prostitutes? >> he got permission from the kennedys because he caught jfk having a fling, if you will, with a prostitute from east germany, that the fbi alleged indicated she was east german spy. hoover could destroy kennedy. stossel: kennedy was terrified. >> the fbi leaked it to whispering willie williams of delaware who wanted to tear down kennedy by exposing the apair. jay edgar hoover had sex files own every senator, every
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congressmen, anybody who was anybody in america. stossel: you write that washington at the time was a zest pool of sex and sexual blackmail? >> that's right. hoover used the sex files to basically create a government within the government. he brings in the heads of the senate, shows them a sex file on all of their colleagues. they say, okay. no more invs. gages into the east german spy mistress. hoover wanted, in return for that, one, his reappointment by the fbi directer, and number two, official authorization to bug and wiretap martin louiser king he used after getting king on tape having affairs to persecute king. stossel: another example. we learnedded about the teapot dome scandal in school. you don't remember what it was, i'm sure, but warren harding's sex life caused it, you write? >> the scandal was one of many scandals in the harding administration. stossel: a corrupt
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administration. >> very corrupt in the history of american politics. well, the origins of this go back to when harding is running for president of the united states. the party bosses, the republican party bosses are told by harding, well, i have all of these mistresses to keep quiet. they need money. we need to pay off the women to keep them quiet among other women. stossel: so they did. >> the republican party creates a slush fund to pay off all the mistresses so their guy can be elected president, but the men who contribute to the slush fund want a return on their investment. stossel: once the corruption is going, man, they want the cash back. they got oil from the teapot dome? >> there it is. stossel: today's sex scandals, nothing new? >> nothing new. in fact, they pail in comparison to what we had from the very beginnings of the early republic all the way through the 20th century. stossel: thank you larry, david, more myths about history when we come back.
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putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. stossel: many americans know so little about history. a poll asked people what country did the united states declare independence from? 26% were not sure. that's a problem. another problem is that what people think they do know is often wrong, and there's plenty
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examples in the book. the believing brain from ghosts and gods to politics and conspiracies. it's a new book from science historian, michael shermer. we are talking history myths. what are some? >> one of the myths in history is that it unfolds in a beautiful, coordinated lock step logical fashion which only makes sense after the fact. i talk about the hypped sight that, for example, after an event, you can look back and trace the chain. like why didn't bush act on that august 9th memo that rice got that al-qaeda will strike on united states soil? well, that was 2,000 pieces of information that came to the state department. stossel: but you just hear about that one memo. >> that's right. we remember the hits, forget the misses. history, in fact, is chaotic, contingent, accidental, and weird things happen. i have the assassination that
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triggered the first world war. it was a conspiracy that wanted independence from the hungary empire. they plotted this out when he gave his speech, had ray lined up, but nothing went right. they didn't have the right weapon, a second guy chickened out, the third guy missed, the fourth guy had the gun jam. another went down the same boulevard, and the last assassin is sitting there disrespondent on the curve eating a sand witch, and then, oh, there he is, boom, shoots him. it's chaotic. after the fact, we try to find a secret, hidden organization there. stossel: how we construct beliefs and reenforce them as true. >> right. the way it works is our beliefs
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come first, the reason we believe is second. our culture shapes our beliefs, and after the fact, we search evidence to short them. stossel: it's a myth that the founding fathers were believing christians. >> yes. stossel: i thought they were. >> in a way. they are ds liberal christians, in a general belief in a creator, but nothing like modern christians who would like to back into history modern beliefs about christianity. that is another great mist, that the founding fathers were like us, modern christians,ing but that was not the case at all. stossel: how do you know? >> we have the laters, original diaries because they told us what they believed. stossel: "in god we trust" was on the currency since the 1850 #s. >> our founders, were, in fact, scientists, natural philosophers, practiced science, talked about the american experiment with democracy. it's like an experiment where they said, look, we don't know how to govern, nobody does.
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let's set it up in a way to continue substantiate -- constantly change called elections. we'll try to tweak the variables, try this tax rate and this legal system. science works that way. we run an experiment, collect data, see how it goes, rerun it, tweak it because we don't know the truth, nobody does with a capital t truth. we just try to understand how the world works. democracy and science are actually pretty closely related in that sense. stossel: i should tell the audience you have a pen that is a skeptic. you run a magazine called "skeptic," and i have stolen stories from that. >> that's why we are here. stossel: another mist you say that humans, years ago, native peoples were just naturally peace loving and lived in ecoharmony with the environment. >> long, long ago. stossel: until europeans messed it up, capitalism corrupted
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them. >> the myth of the is a advantage. this is a deep myth with deep social policy implications. if you believe people before civilization lived in harmony, never fought, that means our nature is flexible, peaceful, loving, kind, and we don't have this dark side because it's just brought about through imperialism, capitalism, colonialism, and evils of western civilization. that's a great myth for decades. long before europeans came to america, the native americans were very triball and war-like, more than us as europeans. the percentage of males that died in conflicts is higher than the 20th century. we have artifacts, arrow head speers inside human skeletons. they killed each other. we have can cannibalism examples. that he deforested most of new england before we came here. they destroyed the environment and do what people do.
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that's what we do. we expand out and use resources, and before we understood the long term consequences of that, that's what people do. they are like us. they are not noble is a advantages, and so that's another great myth. again, there's political implications. if you believe that, you engineer social policy from the top-down and say, look, we can end crime by taxing more and giving more money to the poor because we know that poverty leads to criminality. no, we know that there's a whole other set of causes that you have to assume that there is some human nature to us. stossel: thank you, michael, shermer. coming up, i'll tell you about my take on some of the biggest myths in history.
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stossel: to me, the biggest, most destructive myth on history and what has historically made life good for people or bad for people is the idea that if we are to prosper, government must make smart plans for us. of course, it must plan the economy. this is what i was taught in college, and despite the failure of the soviet union, government leaders still believe that's true. some years ago, i went to i understand ya to interview a
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political boss, a socialist, his party in charge of that part of india for years, and despite the poverty and dysfunction he should have seen around him, he still said the free mark and american capitalism are no good. >> if america social, better than capitalism. >> political boss of the part of india i visited. the socialists in charge here for years. it's not surprising this is the poorest part of the country. calcutta is poor because of your stupid policies. >> no. >> cormism -- socialism works better? >> 100 times. stossel: his party continues and rule and plan for another dozen years. only this may after indian voters finally got upset watching businesses and jobs flee to other parts of india did they vote the socialist government out overwhelmingly. good for them.
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the socialist rule for decades because central planning makes sense to people. life is complex. we can't pay attention to everything. we have lives. we are busy. our intuition tells us someone should be in charge. what would the economy be like if no one was in charge? well, it would be pretty good, actually. certainly better than one that is centrally planned. look at this list of countries. these places are centrally planned. these are the nations at the bottom of the index of economic freedom. a country's ranking depends on things like rule of law. is your person and property secure? is the country relatively free from corruption? what's the leveling of government spending in relation to the full economy? do they have labor freedom? are you free to hire and fire people? are workers free to change jobs? it's no coincidence the
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countries with the worst economic freedom are the worst places to live. they are not just free, they are poor. look at the countries on top of the economic freedom list. united states fell to ninth unfortunately behind canada. we fell because of increased regulation, increased government spending, and government guarantees for things like housing. at the top of the list is hong kong. what does it take to be ranked the most economically free? well, they have low taxes and as i learnedded when i went there for abc, they make it easy to become an entrepreneur. here in hong kong happened in one form is all i had to do. >> thank you, sir. stossel: next day, i was in an indoor business running my own business, and just the idea to try made hong kong thrive. they have thrived.
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they have few natural resources. it's a rock in the middle of the ocean. they don't even have democracy. they were ruled by the british for years, and now the chinese are in charge. even the brits and chinese largely left hong kong alone, and left alone free people make themselves rich. it's an amazing story. in just 50 years they went from horrible poverty to income levels among the highest in the world. prosperity thanks to economic freedom. we should try that here. that's our show for tonight. good night. ♪ ♪
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